Talking about losses is not really the most pleasant topic, is it? Nevertheless, it is an unavoidable topic because every one of us has experienced and continuously experiences losses in daily life.
Last year I lost one of my favorite pair of earrings. I also lost my purse (scary), but it miraculously showed up again. Then I lost my strong confidence in riding one of my horses and I am still working on getting my confidence back. I did not lose any weight and I did not lose my desire for chocolate. Instead I lost a good companion, one of my beloved horses, which I still miss so very much.
We are surrounded by losses of things and people. I wonder why losses we are desperately longing for don’t happen. Losses of bad habits, for example, don’t happen often. I wish I could say that about other incidents in my life. The older I get, the more I find that I am losing friends, family members and beloved pets. Why is it with losses that they accompany us on a daily basis and haunt us in every corner of our lives?
Whenever I ponder about a topic, I start reading books about it. I have learned that coping with loss stars with acceptance. I then take this wisdom and spread it around trying to convince myself as well as my friends that every loss is the beginning of something new. So much wisdom in all those books, but let’s be honest. What is the best way to deal with loss of any kind? Acceptance? Yes, I agree, it is part of it, but for me it is not the most healing balm on my wounds.
Dealing with a loss is a challenge and as much as I accept it, it still hurts. Being left behind with this kind of pain is cruel and I need more than just acceptance. Here is what I do, which might not be your answer but works well for me.
After I realize the loss, accepting it with clinched teeth (it takes time to allow acceptance to happen and genuinely feel it internally), I try to look ahead to something beautiful lying ahead of me. At the same time, I cherish the memory of the past. This is how it works: I was devastated after losing my beautiful horse I had had for many years. I cried and suffered and mourned his death. We all need time to mourn, but the danger is to get sucked in without a way out. When I feel that the pain of loss is unbearable, I move my awareness to something beautiful. In my case, I was longing to spend more time with my dog and my other horses showing them my love and affection. By spending more time with them as usual, I felt the connection to the animal kingdom and this was when healing took place. I felt that the love I had in my heart for the lost horse needed to go to another place. I am not saying that I gave him up. I still love, and continue to love my departed horse Stravinsky, but I also needed to channel my love in another direction. Finding another outlet for the love I keep in my heart has been felt like releasing pressure.
You might ask why I didn’t channel my overflow of love to my family? When I lose a pet, I find comfort in other animals. When I lose a family member or friend, I find comfort with my family and friends, but also my animals. It seems that if a person loves animals, a lot of comfort can be felt just by being with them. When you lose a dear pet, you can open the door for another animal offering it a loving home.
Indeed, losses often open doors to new opportunities. There is a reason for anything, even though we don’t sense this at the time of the loss. An accomplished life has a beginning and an ending. We wish for as much time as possible in between, but when our time is up, we reach accomplishment. By accepting the beginning and the ending, we can finally live our lives in peace and live with losses in a much more profound way.
Everyone has a personal story and an individual way of dealing with loss. Knowing that we are not alone in these difficult times helps a lot. Therefore, please share your thoughts and feelings and tell us your story.
Be a woman and act like one.